Chichester – The Graffham Ward 6th May 2014
The day has finally arrived, very mixed feelings – scared and frightened but pleased to be getting on with it. My private bedroom is better than I thought: electric bed, WiFi, television, fridge, and en-suite! Viv, my specialist hematology nurse, specifically requested it as she didn’t want me on the ward with all the snoring and farting as I am the youngest here. Little does she know – that would have felt like home! I am greeted by the nurse and housekeeping so I ask where the wardrobe is and they point to a small cupboard by the bed. That now houses my Beckham handbag and is full. The room smells of disinfectant which covers up God knows what.
Pete arrives and explains that he is here with a student (3rd year) to put my “PICC line in”. He looks about 18 but is in fact 33 and has done this procedure loads of times before. As he gowns up Zig is looking nervous and I suggest he goes for a walk which he accepts without a fight. A screen is put up between my arm and my face and I feel like I’m about to have a caesarian! Viv arrives to hold my hand, bless her, and Pete has a tv screen on which he is watching my insides so that he puts the line in the right place! All the time Viv is talking me through what he is doing.
The local anesthetic hurts like hell and stings, but the line (which is about a metre long and slides up a vein towards my heart) goes in and leaves what look like two little jump leads coming out of my arm. Through these they can administer everything – blood tests, drugs, chemo and so on – maybe even a little Pinot Grigio! Following the procedure a porter with a wheel chair quickly arrives to take me to X-Ray just to check that Pete ‘hit the spot’. I say I can walk but he insists as it is hospital policy. So we chat: he’s a guitarist and singer and has played with Willie Austen so I tell him about Charlie… blah, blah, blah! A couple of minutes after the X-Ray I decided to walk back to my room when I was aware of the porter running after me with the wheelchair saying that I must get in. I felt like I was at Gatwick on one of the buggies for a moment – then I remembered where I was!
So it’s time for Zig to leave and he has already told my that when he went for a walk he had to take a few deep breaths so as not to cry. Anyway, we kiss in front of everyone which is not like us at all (no tongues), and he leaves. I’m VERY SAD and on my return to my room think I will have a little cry – but then… why? I am lucky I am here otherwise I will die!